Could Losing Weight Ease Your Arthritis Pain?

What Weight Does to Your Joints

WebMD—October 21, 2010

If you are at all overweight, one of the best ways to reduce osteoarthritis pain is by taking off excess pounds. Being overweight increases the load that you put on your joints -- your knees, your hips, your ankle -- with every step you take.

“When we walk, when we go up and down stairs, or get into or out of a chair or car, we can put three to five times our body weight, and sometimes more, on the joints,” says Geoffrey Westrich, attending orthopedic surgeon and Director of Joint Replacement Research at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. “So if you’re 50 pounds overweight, you’re putting around 250 pounds of increased stress across your knees and hips.”

Over time, that extra weight makes you much more prone to developing arthritis and can cause arthritis to progress much more rapidly, leading to much more pain once it has developed.

Fortunately, the same principle works in reverse. “For every pound people lose, they lose 3 pounds of stress across their knee and 6 pounds of stress on their hip, on average,” says Westrich.

Read the full story at WebMD.com.

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